Wiltshire cheesemaker Rosary Goats Cheese has picked up the supreme champion award for its garlic and herb rosary cheese at the British Cheese Awards yesterday (27 May).

The supplier picked up five other awards, including best fresh cheese, in addition to a gold and three silver medals in the fresh cheese category.

This year’s event, the 21st, was the first to be held following the formal merger between the British Cheese Awards and the Royal Bath and West Show, and surpassed the expectations of organisers, according to chairwoman Juliet Harbutt.

The awards received 1,014 entries from 177 cheesemakers across Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland, covering the whole spectrum of cheese supplying – from the largest creameries to the hobbyist. Some 334 medals were awarded at the event in Somerset yesterday.

“The quality, especially the blues, is the best I can remember,” said Harbutt. “With over 150,000 people expected at the show, it is the best possible venue for the awards.”

Humming Bark, a soft cheese made from pasteurised milk by County Wexford-based Carrigbyrne Cheese, was named reserve champion. The producer also picked up the best semi-soft cheese award and a gold medal in the rind-washed category for cheese up to 500g.

Tesco’s Finest Cave Aged Goats Cheese won the champion supermarket award.

Quickes Vintage Cheddar won the best Cheddar award, while Belton Cheese’s Cheshire Traditional won the best English cheese award.

Arla Foods’ Anchor Extra Mature Cheddar was best Welsh cheese, Highland Fine Cheeses’ Morangie Brie won best Scottish cheese, and Knockdrinna Farmhouse Cheese’s Knockdrinna Meadow was voted best Irish cheese.